Definition of curiosity in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌkyo͝orēˈäsədē/

noun (plural curiosities)

1A strong desire to know or learn something: filled with curiosity, she peered through the window curiosity got the better of me, so I called him
More example sentences
  • And I am consumed by curiosity and a desire to know what on earth this cool thing is going to be like.
  • In his essay on Leonardo, Freud even derives curiosity and the desire for knowledge from sexuality.
  • The latter is a moralistic bore who puts intellectual curiosity second to her desire to pontificate.
interest, spirit of inquiry, inquisitiveness
2A strange or unusual object or fact: he showed them some of the curiosities of the house
More example sentences
  • And amidst the displays of oddities and curiosities, the museum of anatomy was in some ways the oddest and most curious.
  • Collectors paid much greater sums for medical curiosities.
  • The unusual surface textures of fossil cycads have been interesting curiosities to collectors for a long time.


curiosity killed the cat

proverb Being inquisitive about other people’s affairs may get you into trouble.
Example sentences
  • Defending, he said: ‘This is a case where curiosity killed the cat.’
  • Stuffed as we were, however, curiosity killed the cat - and it very nearly took us with it as we recklessly agreed to share a devilled chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream.
  • I won't reveal any more of the plot than that, but if there's a moral to this story, it's that old truism that says that curiosity killed the cat.


Late Middle English: from Old French curiousete, from Latin curiositas, from curiosus (see curious).

Words that rhyme with curiosity

anfractuosity, animosity, atrocity, bellicosity, fabulosity, ferocity, generosity, grandiosity, impecuniosity, impetuosity, jocosity, luminosity, monstrosity, nebulosity, pomposity, ponderosity, porosity, preciosity, precocity, reciprocity, religiosity, scrupulosity, sinuosity, sumptuosity, velocity, verbosity, virtuosity, viscosity

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cu·ri·os·i·ty

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